“And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb”
Earlier this week I was visiting with a member of our congregation and the subject of the weather came up; in particular, all this incessant rain we’ve been having. While we were all expressing our disdain for it, her caretaker made the comment that if we could have a week with nothing but sunshine, everybody would be much happier. I couldn’t agree more, but according to the weather app on my phone, that forecast is not in the foreseeable future.
Rainy, winter weather, and the lack of sunshine that accompanies it, really can have a dramatic effect on our mood and even our general outlook on life. For those who are impacted severely, serious depression often results. Psychologists have labeled this SAD syndrome, or Seasonal Affective Disorder. It’s a common ailment during the winter months, when daylight hours are diminished. All the rain we’ve been having only compounds the problem. As someone who struggles with this myself, I would appreciate just one bright sunny day. Again, according to the weather app on my phone, the earliest possibility for a day like that is Monday. I really need to stop looking at it.
Allowing the weather to affect our mood is not necessarily a spiritual problem. There are chemical and biological processes that a lack of sunlight can have a serious impact on. But at the same time, followers of Jesus can and should live hopeful lives. Lately, I have found myself thinking this record rainfall is evidence that global warming has permanently shifted the weather patterns for this part of the world, and the sun is never going to shine again. I know that’s not true, but weather like this makes it easy to slip into those kinds of destructive thought patterns. On top of all this, I’m about to turn 40, which is something I’m still trying to get used to.
If any of this is resonating with you, let me remind you, as I remind myself, that the joy that is ours on account of our relationship with God is not impacted in any way by the weather or the season, and certainly not our age. I’m encouraged by John’s description of the holy city in Revelation, a city that has no need of sun or moon on account of the glory of God, and the presence of the Lamb, Jesus Christ, In his gospel, John refers to Jesus as, “the light of the world.” Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus lives in us, and his light will carry us through the darkest and gloomiest seasons of our lives. A brighter day is coming, and a Son, who will shine forever.